Red Bull picked up their 17th win of the year on Sunday to close out the 2022 season in Abu Dhabi, capping a dominant campaign that saw them win both titles for the first time since 2013.
Max Verstappen scored a record 15 wins during the season, while Red Bull set a new record for most points scored by a team in a single year.
The team started 2022 struggling with reliability, losing both cars in the season opener in Bahrain and seeing Verstappen retire in Australia, all due to fuel system issues.
But after finding its feet and taking on Ferrari in the first half of the year, the RB18 took a step forward to become the most dominant car on the grid, winning 11 of the last 12 races of the season.
“When you win 17 Grands Prix and you do what we did, you can understand that it hurts our opponents,” Horner said after the race in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m sure they will be even more motivated to become a challenger next year. They are [Mercedes and Ferrari] two teams of such high quality that nothing can be taken for granted in 2023.”
Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal BEST IMAGE
Photo by: James Moy
But Red Bull’s success this year has not been without controversy. The team was found to have exceeded the budget cap in 2021, resulting in a fine and an aero testing penalty for next year, with some teams calling for tougher penalties.
Horner also had to deal with some internal tensions after Verstappen refused to help team-mate Sergio Perez in his bid for second place in the championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix earlier this month.
Asked what lessons Red Bull could learn from this year and the controversies it has faced, Horner replied: “You are always learning, and someone else will have a problem at some point.
“The higher you go, the sharper the knives. We’ve been through that a bit this year. And the quickest way to become unpopular in this paddock is to win and win consistently.
“We’re an energy drink subsidiary that competes against OEMs and legacy brands. And of course that doesn’t sit well with some of our competitors.”